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Trek was established in 1976 by Dick Burke and Bevil Hogg in Waterloo, Wisconsin, making handmade steel bicycle frames.
When the rest of the larger manufacturers were off-shoring to Taiwan and Japan, Trek committed to building high end bikes in the USA, which it continued to mostly do through the 1980s. 2)
Since then, Trek has acquired Bontrager, Gary Fisher, Klein, LeMond, Electra and grew its revenues from $6 million in 1983, the year it launched its first mountain bike, to $1B by 2015, selling over a million bikes a year. 3)
Trek founders trekbikes
1983 Trek 850
A handsome selection of black components and lugs with red accents. Designed by Tim Isaac 5). Note the quick release under the saddle to quickly move the seat forwards and backwards (for switching between uphill and downhill??)
Cost: $580 6)
1983 Trek 850 dahlquistcycleworks
1984 Trek 830
Trek added a slightly down market option with the 830, which used up the left over 1983 850 components, while the new 850 introduced the new Shimano XT group set.
Trek also briefly made an 890 ATB for the “urban canyon” with 26×1.5 tires, steeper geometry and higher gearing. 7)
1984 price list 8)
- 830 : $469
- 850 : $669
- 890 : $499
1984 Trek 830 mtbr
1985 Trek 870
Almost identical in specs to the 850 (exact same frame & components) except with the addition of narrower tires, perhaps to make up for the extra weight of added bottle cages and toe straps. A rare bicycle.
1985 Trek 870 vintage-trek
1986 Antelope 850
SunTour XC gruppo, Reynolds 531 tubing. Solid axles. Specialized cranks…
1986 850 mombat
1987 8000XT Aluminum
Shimano Deore XT gruppo, aluminum frame, 27.1 pounds.
1987 8000XT bikeforums
Shimano Deore XT gruppo, aluminum frame. Hite-Rite saddle dropper as a standard accessory. Catalog pic.
1988 8500 retrobike
1989 850 Antelope
Shimano Mountain LX group, skinny 1.5“ tires. A low end Trek, below the 950, 970, 990, 7000, 8000, 8500, yet a cut above the 830.
1989 850 Antelope offerup
1990 8900 Pro
SunTour XC Pro group, carbon composite frame, aluminum lugs.
Trek finally introduces a carbon composite MTB, which first debuted on their 1986 2500 road bike, to great success.
1990 8900 Pro photo by Trek, facebook
Low end of Trek's aluminum range. SunTour XC LTD group (1991-?). Neon yellow. The pic does not have original components. None do…
I’ll tell ya, my least favorite bike in the history of Trek is the 1991 6000. It was neon-yellow bike with black splash paint. It was perhaps the worst bike that we ever produced. It didn’t shift well, the brakes sucked. I kept the bike for about 20 years as a memory to never do anything like that again. John Burke, Trek CEO pinkbike
1991 6000 tkvco
. Many. Trek sold 45,000 bikes in 1984 9)